You can literally make and serve this recipe within an hour from start to finish. The preparation is made easy with “oven-ready” lasagna noodles that do not require boiling. This is definitely one of my family’s favorite recipes for the taste and mine for the preparation.
I love the fresh mozzarella for the texture and subtle flavor it gives to the lasagna. And I am bending my seasonal rules by using fresh basil but it is so easily found that I am using it in this wonderful autumn recipe. I use store-bought marinara sauce to save time, although homemade obviously would be great, too. Italian chicken sausage is my preference, but you can also use pork sausage, if you prefer.
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound Italian chicken sausage, cases removed
- 3 cups Marinara sauce
- ½ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 8 oven-ready (no boiling) lasagna noodles
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
- Stir together ricotta, water, salt and ⅓ cup Parmesan; set aside.
- Brown sausage in an 11 to 12-inch skillet over medium heat, breaking up clumps, until cooked through about 7-8 minutes. Stir in 2 cups marinara sauce (reserving remaining sauce for end of assembly). Reduce heat to low.
- Put 2 lasagna noodles on center of sauce and sausage mixture; break two additional lasagna noodles into pieces and fill in over the sauce to the edges of skillet.
- Gently spread the ricotta mixture over the noodles, spreading to edges of skillet. Lay mozzarella slices over ricotta, then arrange basil over mozzarella. Break remaining 2 noodles into several pieces and fill in to edges of skillet.
- Put 2 more lasagna noodles over cheese and basil; then break 2 additional noodles into pieces and fill in over the cheese to the edges of skillet. Pour remaining marinara sauce evenly over noodles, spreading to edges of skillet; sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Cover and simmer over low heat until noodles are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow sitting 10 minutes before cutting and serving.